Sex Offenders Can’t Be Banned From Facebook

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Banned From Facebook

An appeals court decided that sex offenders are not allowed to be banned from Facebook.

A United States appeals court has decided that a law passed in Indiana last year banning registered sex offenders from using social media sites online is not legal.

The ACLU challenged the law a year ago, but it was upheld by a judge in Indiana.  The court recognizes that social media is an important part of today’s society, and offenders online have the same needs for social media that other people do.

The ACLU argues that the law was too restrictive, and it prohibited too many activities that are protected by the First Amendment.

The way the law was written, it barred sex offenders from using online social media to look for jobs on social media sites like LinkedIn.  They also could not post on news sites.  Social media can also be used to follow religious or political figures.

The ACLU feels that existing laws protect children from sex offenders, and this new law was too restrictive without offering more protection.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the ACLU, claiming that banning sex offenders from using social media infringed on their First Amendment right of free speech.  The ruling from this higher court overturned the ruling from last year.

Another reason for the decision is that the Court recognizes that the State already has a law stating that adults can not have inappropriate communication with children, and this new law restricted the same thing and more.

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Rights To Online Anonymity Given To Sex Offenders

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Online Anonymity Given To Sex Offenders

In California, a bill that would remove the rights of a sex offender to have online anonymity while using email, instant messaging and social media, among other sites and service online, has been blocked by a federal judge. Judge Thelton Henderson deems Proposition 35 to be an unconstitutional bill.

The State of California has summarized the bill in question as this:

Sign, Wapello, Iowa. This was put up in reacti...
Sign, Wapello, Iowa. This was put up in reaction to Megan’s Law. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human trafficking fines and prison sentences would be increased and the convicted human traffickers would be required to participate in the sex offenders registry. The registered sex offenders would be required to reveal all activities and identities pertaining to the Internet. It would cost the state and local governments a few million dollars to address the offenses of human trafficking. However, this cost could potentially be offset with the increase in the fines that are dedicated to the victims of the crime.

This bill was passed by a majority vote of 81% in November. However, it was blocked temporarily by the filing of a lawsuit by the ACLU and a few sex offenders.

Speaking of the bill, the ACLU stated that Proposition 35 adds penalties to the sex offenders and puts upon them new restrictions. The example given to back up this claim was that of older crimes that have nothing to do with children or the Internet. The bill would require these offenders to disclose their screen names and their Internet provider’s information. This bill hampers the offenders freedom of anonymous speech online, which infringes upon their First Amendment right to free speech.

The judge who imposed the blockage of the bill stated that while the government has a legitimate purpose in their fight of human trafficking and online sex offenses, they can not regulate a person’s right to speech in this way.

While offenders search for a clear answer of how they can exercise their right to free speech, this issue is not a cut and dry one as the response varies from state to state. In Indiana, it was decided that a social media site ban for sex offenders was lawful. While a similar case in Nebraska was dismissed.

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Finding Sex Offenders In Your City With Google Search

Civil Records

Google Maps has always been a very useful tool.  Users could employ the tool to locate addresses, people and even offices. The tool could also be accessed through mobile phones and it is a huge asset for people while driving as well. Even so, the Google Design team has now managed to tweak the map to provide an even more beneficial tool. It is now linked with state databases that will show the addresses of local sex offenders. Using the tool is simple. You can access the state database of registered sex delinquent and then enter your address in to the state search engine.  This will produce a Google Map of your address and the locations of sex offenders within a five mile radius of your home.

For additional information, you can click on the red bubbles on the map. This will provide additional information on the sex offender in the form of an address and photograph. The map is generally very specific but there are drawbacks. For example, not every sex offender is required to register their name and address with the state database. Moreover, even though offenders register with the sex criminal registry, it takes some time for the paperwork to be processed and entered into the system. In a few states, sex criminals have to register for their entire lifetime and this information is readily accessible for users.

Although this is a valuable asset for personal security, almost every database carries strict warnings about the misuse of this information. Using the information to harm or injure the registered offender could result in an arrest for the person.

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Sex Offenders Search Is A Smart Move In Today’s Times

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Sex Offenders Search

Whether you have been living in your family home for years or relocating to a new city or even a new neighborhood in your same town, then a sex offenders search can be a prudent first move.

In this day and age sex crimes, not only against minors but adults as well are on the rise. Let’s face it, things are not like they used to be in the sixties and seventies when you could trust most people.

If you are moving to a new location, across town or across the country then you may want to look into more than just property values and the best places to shop near your home. Finding out who your neighbors are could save you and your family a lot of future turmoil.

A sex offenders search can be done as simply as going online to a number of well maintained and informative websites. It can take only a few minutes to save you and your loved ones a lifetime of trouble. One such website is provided and maintained by the U.S Department of Justice, and is named The Dru SJODIN NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER PUBLIC WEBSITE. This website is up to date and allows you to search for offenders nationwide as well as The District of Columbia and other U.S. territories. Family Watchdog is another good website to perform a search for sex offenders in your area. Also check with your local police department for any information on searches related to sex crimes.

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Keep Your Family Safe: Know The Sex Offenders In Your Area

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Sex Offenders In Your Area

Keeping ourselves and our children safe is a daily challenge, one we should never take lightly. Letting your child play in your own backyard might be as dangerous as letting them play in the street if you have a sex offender living in your area. You cannot know who is a sex offender just by looking at them. It is not written across their forehead in red ink. They often look just like anyone else and can be friendly.

You will not know a sex offender just by looking at them, but you can know one when they are listed on the sex offender registry. Sex offenders are required to register so their names can be put on the list. It is often a part of their release from jail. Violating that recommendation is often grounds for the offender to go back to jail. There are a few Websites that are reliable and will give you a location on every offender in your neighborhood. You can do your own offender search. One of those Websites is called familywatchdog.us. To find the offenders in your area, you can search by street, city and state. The U.S. Department of Justice has a Website for the tracking of national sex offenders too. These are databases that you can do an offender search, and it will show you pictures and addresses of those criminals who are registered sex offenders.

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Dirk Monseur Violated Laws For Sex Offenders

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A sex offender that was arrested before has been arrested again in Charlotte North Carolina for not complying with the terms of sex offender laws. Dirk Walker Monseur, Jr. (Dirk Monseur), 34, violated the terms put in place for sex offenders by helping a team consisting of children six to eight years old.

The felony arrest happened at Granite Falls Park after parents said he volunteered to help the parents of the children with a normal practice session. Sex offenders are not allowed to be around children following a conviction in the state.

Though Monseur is not the father of any of the children, he allegedly has a relationship with at least three of the young players’ mothers.

Monseur previously served a 2 1/2 year prison term for not complying with sex offender laws because he failed to sign the registered offenders list. This infraction may get him more jail time, there is no sign of him violating any of the children.

However, North Carolina does not take that into consideration. The laws in North Carolina prohibit any registered sex offender to be on the premises of any place that has to do with minors.

The observer reports this includes any place that minors may come together for social events, recreational events or educational program. It makes sense to say Monseur’s helping a youth team classifies as such a place.

Parents are now for certain their kids are safe. If a parent is unsure about someone in their area, they can do an offenders search online. A basic offenders search is  free of charge.

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5 Ways to Fight Crime Without Endangering Yourself

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Domestic crimes continue to happen even though authorities maintain and execute specific measures to curb such instances. Maybe this is because of economic problems that drive people to do things that they don’t normally do. Or maybe, there are just too few law enforcers who can watch over communities’ and people‘s welfare. There are still a host of other reasons why crime rates are on the rise despite police efforts. Although this may be a scary thought, people should empower themselves. The public can join it efforts to curb criminal activities because people can do a lot to fight crime; and they don’t have to be super heroes to do it.

1. Join Neighborhood Watch Programs and Other Community Associations 

Neighborhood Watch programs are created in order that people in a certain place will be able to better monitor their surroundings. When someone from a neighborhood notices something strange, a car or an individual perhaps, then the person from the neighborhood is responsible for reporting this. Hence, joining a neighborhood watch program encourages self-protection. Your neighbors watch over you and your family and vice versa. Apart from this, these types of community groups encourage neighbors to get to know each other better; thus, forming closer relationships and promoting community awareness and participation

2. Immediately Report a Crime

911 is the number to call for emergencies or criminal incidents, like robbery, suspicious activity, or public disturbance. When something bad happens to you or your neighbor, every second counts. So make sure to call the authorities right away. Here are a few pointers when calling 911:

– As much as possible, know the nature of the complaint.

– Give the correct address. With all that’s going on, it’s easy to forget a vital piece of information. But when a crisis arises, be level- headed and make sure to provide the authorities with the right address.

– Provide descriptions of the following: suspect, car or vehicle used, location and direction of the car when it was driven away.

– Give the correct time and date; and take note of extraordinary circumstances, such as snow, heavy rain or thunderstorm.

– Whether you’re a victim or a witness, be prepared to be interviewed and cooperate with the police.

3. Volunteer in Crime Prevention Campaigns

Crime prevention campaigns seek to influence people, most especially the youth, to follow the law. Such programs reiterate why ordinances should be followed and it also explains the dire consequences of rule-breaking.

4. Be Involved in Tracking Criminals

Criminals thrive in anonymity, which is why it’s important that their identities become known. So, make an extra effort to be informed about open criminal cases in your community, including neighboring towns or cities. Be updated and listen to community news as there are details that could largely impact your neighborhood. In addition to this, participate in tracking criminals by reporting any suspicious activity.

5. Use Technology to Your Advantage

Your gadgets are your weapons. Digicams and smartphones can readily take shots of fishy individuals. Have these handy as your pictures can be used as evidence regarding a crime. Online, do your share of watching out for cyber criminals. Use anti-spyware and antivirus software to protect yourself from identity theft, for instance. If you are a parent, discuss with your kids the dangers of engaging in chats with people that they don’t know. Remind them that there are online predators out there. It’s also important to report suspected online predators to the proper authorities immediately. Remember that cyber crimes are becoming more rampant and victims of such crimes include young children.

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